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The Greatest Robin/Red Robin Stories Ever Told!

Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Robin/Red Robin (Tim Drake) Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

10. Robin #25-26 “Sophomore Lethal”

In this gripping two-parter guest-starring Green Arrow, Chuck Dixon and artists Mike Wieringo and Stan Woch bring the tragedy of high school gun violence to Tim Drake’s high school.

9. Robin #74-77 “Robin at Brentwood Academy”

Chuck Dixon puts on a master class in how to seamlessly and yet drastically change the status quo of a comic book as he has Tim Drake be forced to attend a private boarding school for boys. Seeing Tim adjust to being Robin in an all-new environment was quite enjoyable. The great artwork of Pete Woods and Jesse Delperdang certainly did not hurt!

8. Robin #1-5 “Flying Solo”

In this first story arc of his own ongoing series, Tim had to deal with the fact that with Jean-Paul Valley as Batman, Tim no longer had a place at Batman’s side. So for the first time ever, Tim was truly a solo hero. This story also introduced the idea of Stephanie “Spoiler” Brown as a supporting character for Tim. I believe Chuck Dixon later noted that he initially intended for Stephanie to be a character in just this arc, but the fan response was so strong that he kept her around from here on out. I can believe it, as she was used so well in this arc (and the chemistry between her and Tim was so strong) that there would have been an uproar if she wasn’t used again! Tom Grummett and Ray Kryssing supply the artwork.

7. Teen Titans #17-19 “Titans of Tomorrow”

Tim comes face to face with his worst fears when he and the rest of the Teen Titans meet their future selves. Tim has become the worst version of Batman you can imagine – all the skills but none of the heart that makes Tim such an awesome hero. Geoff Johns wrote this tale and Mike McKone and Mario Alquiza drew it.

6. Red Robin #9-12, Batgirl #8 “Collision”

In Chris Yost’s final arc as writer of Red Robin, Tim is on a collision path with Ra’s Al Ghul (hence the name) and Batman and Robin (as well as Stephanie Brown, who is now the new Batgirl) might be collateral damage in the conflict!

5. Batman #440-442, New Titans #60-61 “A Lonely Place of Dying”

While he made a couple of quick cameo appearances, this was Tim Drake’s first full introduction as he tries to get Dick Grayson to return to Batman as Robin, since Tim feels that Batman has been spiraling ever since Jason Todd’s death. By the end of the story (which pits Batman and Nightwing against Two-Face), it is TIM who is chosen to be the new Robin. Marv Wolfman and George Perez wrote the story and Jim Aparo, Tom Grummett, George Perez and Mike DeCarlo drew it.

4. Nightwng #25 “The Boys”

This one-off issue by Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel and Karl Story did a wonderful job exploring the relationship between Batman’s two “sons,” Nightwing and Robin.

3. Batman #455-457 “Identity Crisis”

This was the conclusion of Tim Drake’s training to be the new Robin, as he is forced to decide whether to go into action on his own when Batman is captured by the Scarecrow. Is Tim really ready to be the new Robin? Is it his decision or Bruce’s? This also marked the debut of the brand-new Robin costume, designed by the legendary Neal Adams. Alan Grant wrote it and Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchelle drew it.

2. Robin #1-5

This was Tim’s first solo story ever, as Chuck Dixon, Tom Lyle and Bob Smith gave us an action-packed adventure throughout Europe as Robin receives his final training. Lady Shiva makes an important appearance and two new rogues for Robin debut – King Snake and Lynx!

1. Robin II: Joker’s Wild #1-4 /strong>

A follow-up to the super successful first Robin mini-series, we see Robin patrolling Gotham by himself while Batman is on a case out of the country. But while Batman is away – the Joker strikes! This is the first time Joker met Tim Drake, the third Robin – a notable experience since Joker killed the previous Robin! Tom Lyle and Bob Smith once again provided the artwork.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

And go vote for the other lists still up for voting!

35 Comments

I’m surprised Daredevil #1 placed so highly on the list. I would say its only my fourth or fifth favorite Tim Drake story.

I think someone messed up on the last image. Daredevil?

Thanks!

I have nothing but the fondest memories of Robin II: Joker’s Wild. The individual issues had neat holograms on the covers, as was the style at the time. Might have to read it again this weekend. Great list!

Hmmm no issue 87 where Bruce reveals his Identity to Spoiler? Or even the Birth of Spoilers kid issue. Both of those were awesome issues that should have been in there.(I’ll concede that the 2nd one is more Spolier oriantated, but it was still awesome.)

I’m really surprised that neither Batman #466 or #480 made this list. To me, those are absolutely essential Tim Drake stories.

Dixon is really the king of Robin stories. I think he really gets the relationship between the members of the Bat-family really well.

nice worthy picks figured lonley place of dieing would be one of the picks. though surprised not to see the storyline where robin loses his mother on this list.

I thought the first Robin mini was actually better than the second.

I really wanted to vote for “Date Night” from Robin 57 (and throw in the preceding issue as well) but I couldn’t think of 9 other stories to vote for, even though I’ve read about half of these at some point. Anyway, those two issues are basically the story of Robin and Spoiler getting together and going on a date, in costume because Robin won’t reveal his identity to her. It’s pretty cute, and also underscores the inevitable attraction that would seem to exist between teenage heroes. Every teenager with a weird hobby probably longs for a girl/guy who “gets” them and their hobby, and if that hobby is something as weird and specific as wearing a costume to go on nightly patrols for criminals*? It was only a matter of time! There are other nice elements, like that they’re meeting up in the suburbs every night to go patrol in the city, and how Stephanie’s less priveleged / “less stable” background makes her a perfect foil for Tim…

* though I suppose in Gotham that might include 1 in 5 teens, and the rest are busy filling the need for bullies, nerdy best friends, in-over-their-head gang members, new kids with secrets, love interests who don’t get it, etc.

Titans of Tomorrow? Seriously? Bleh.

Titans of Tomorrow? Seriously? Bleh.

I didn’t vote, but Titans of Tomorrow might have been my #1 if I had.

I love those “meet your dark/evil future self” type stories – and this was a good one.

My only complaint? A complete lack of Young Justice.

I LOVED Collision with Red Robin; it had a huge role in turning me on to comics in general. Glad to see it placed!

Ha.
I agree. I appreciate that my first two mini-series are still so well thought of. And … I have the SPOILER in an arc in here, too. Not bad.
It’s good to be remembered.
Thanks.

Tom

Not the exact ten I would have chosen, but a very good list.Damn, I miss Chuck Dixon.

I really liked the final storyline on the Robin solo series where Robin must face Lady Shiva again and outsmarts her. I also thought that the Red Robin series could have gotten at least another story in the top 10. Oh well, they’re all pretty great.

Five Robins in five years. Two of them are adults. One is Batman’s child, who is old enough to fight criminals.

Oh, DC. Could you make me hate Robin more?

“the rest are busy filling the need for bullies, nerdy best friends, in-over-their-head gang members, new kids with secrets, love interests who don’t get it, etc.”–Nice. Right on, Will.

I read the TPB of Flying Solo a few months back, and it definitely is a good story. It also included a nice team-up with the Huntress from Showcase ’93, which I think would make a good DC animated feature. Anyone agree?

At first I was a bit bummed by the lack of Young Justice stories but then it hit me that – while there are some great character bits – he isn’t nearly as important to the series as his teammates. Heck, Nightwing and Wonder Girl’s mom had better character moments in issue seven than Tim did.

The lack of major moments in his relationship with Spoiler and Fabian’s Red Robin stories are huge oversights though.

I’m thrilled to see the boarding school arc, Lonely Place for Dying, and Nightwing #25 included.

I wasn’t expecting Robin II to come in first

It’s not something I’d have voted for as a top 5 Robin story, but I’ve always really liked the Flash team-up from Robin #63-5. Dixon really captured the feel of a 1970s issue of Brave and the Bold or Marvel Team-Up there…and he even managed to get Captain Boomerang over as a physical threat. Plus it ends with Spoiler going into labor and Tim getting Wally to rush him to Gotham as soon as he hears.

It’s not something I’d have voted for as a top 5 Robin story, but I’ve always really liked the Flash team-up from Robin #63-5. Dixon really captured the feel of a 1970s issue of Brave and the Bold or Marvel Team-Up there…and he even managed to get Captain Boomerang over as a physical threat. Plus it ends with Spoiler going into labor and Tim getting Wally to rush him to Gotham as soon as he hears.

Yeah, I totally agree. That was definitely what Dixon was going for and he totally nailed it.

I was always a bit of a periphery Tim fan. Liked him, but didn’t really follow his adventures. But the Red Robin series changed my mind and made me a believer. I wish that series was still around post-Flashpoint. I think Tim has gotten a bad deal with the New 52 (although I like the New 52 OK).

I have to agree with will m. Robin 56 and 57 are masterful pieces of comics storytelling. I didn’t own manycomics as a kid so I used to reread those two constantly. The final panel where ari dumps Tim is one of my all time favourites

I really liked the Paul Dini written issue of Detective Comics with Robin and Joker

“I really liked the Paul Dini written issue of Detective Comics with Robin and Joker”

I thought this may have had a shot, given its intersection of quality and recentness.

Just a little minor complaint, or maybe not even a complaint, just a note: for the sake of clarity, you might want to add “mini-series” in parentheses on #2. It took me a second to figure out why “Robin 1 – 5″ was on here twice with different descriptions.

What about the teen titans issue after his father died? That was a great story I thought.

Big fan of Chuck Dixon’s Bat-family books, but Geoff Johns had a few great Tim stories too, including the “Identity Crisis” fallout issue of Teen Titans where he is dealing with the loss of his dad.

“Flying Solo” pretty much had me hooked for the next 100 issues.

I remember reading a reviewer back then who said talking about Robin and Robin II that Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle were two kings of mediocrity. :D I myself only read the first issue of Robin because the art was not appealing.

I’ve grown up with Drake, so he is a favorite of mine, especially his earlier appearances. Not surprised to see so much from Dixon, he wrote some great Robin stories.

Robin 1-5 should of included the Batman (or Detective) story that led right into issue #1.

A favorite of mine that isn’t mentioned was from Robin #6 (and 2 showcase issues) that featured Huntress and art by Jimenez. A classic! :) Another good one was the Robin 3 mini – again with Huntress. They had some great stories together.

You should do a greatest Huntress stories!! I can list 10 great ones right off the top of my head!! :)

dixon
Dixon
Dixon!
DIXON!
DIXON!!!
DIXON!!!!!!

Chuck Dixon, who I should point out, was completely omitted from the 75 Years of DC Comics book. The guy who may have written more Batman comics than anyone. He is un-person.

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